There are countless benefits associated with the experience of positive emotions. Life is hard, but experiencing positive emotions can become a stress-reducer, open our minds, build enduring resources, and improve our overall well-being. Negative emotions tend to narrow our thoughts to a limited set of possible actions that might be taken in response to an emotion-evoking situation (Baumgardner & Crothers, p41). Positive emotions contribute to enhancing our physical, psychological, and social resources. While negative emotions may compromise our health, positive emotions can enhance our health. Multiple studies have shown how positive emotions broaden our outlook, offset negative emotions, enhance our resilience, and improve our emotional well-being (Baumgardner & Crothers, p42). Men and women have been known to have about the same levels of happiness, however they differ greatly in respect to their experience of negative emotions. Women tend to express their negative emotions more than men and experience internalizing disorders. The disorders that women experience because of their negative emotions include mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Men on the other hand tend to externalize their emotions. These emotions are directed toward objects, situations, and people (Baumgardner & Crothers, p86). The externalizing disorders that men have include antisocial personality disorder, drug abuse, and other problems related to uncontrolled anger. Men show more physical aggression than women. Women’s aggression is more verbal and relational. Researchers explain these differences through several possible answers. Some researchers have found that women report higher levels of both pleasant and unpleasant emotions than men, that women are more likely than men to report being very unhappy, and that women’s greater emotional intensity occurs across many different ages (Baumgardner & Crothers, p87).
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